Democratic Party presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton thinks the term “radical Islam” is unhelpful when describing terrorists who perpetrate attacks against civilians like the attacks in Paris on Friday.
At the CBS News Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Clinton deliberately avoided using the term.
Moderator John Dickenson asked Clinton, “Secretary Clinton, you mentioned radical jihadists. Marco Rubio, also running for president, said this attack showed it’s attack in Paris showed that we are at war with radical Islam. Do you agree with that characterization ‘radical Islam?'”
Clinton responded, “I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists.”
“Just to interrupt,” Dickerson said, “he didn’t say all muslims, he said ‘radical Islam.’ Is that a phrase you don’t (use)?”
“I think you can talk about Islamists who clearly are also jihadists,” she answered. “But I think it’s not particularly helpful to make the case that Senator Sanders was just making that I agree with that we’ve got to reach out to Muslim countries. We’ve got to have them be part of our coalition.”
“If they hear people running for president who basically shortcut it to say we are somehow against Islam, that was one of the real contributions, despite all the other problems, that George W. Bush made after 9/11 when he basically said after going to a mosque in Washington, we are not at war with Islam or Muslims,” he said.
“We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression. And, yes, we are at war with those people. But I don’t want us to be painting with too broad a brush.”